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USDA Market News - New Zealand Meat Export Summary and Prices Jun 17, 2003

Beef: Imported processing beef managed a small 1 cent increase last week in spite of very low demand and falling domestic cow prices, which was down 15 cents, now under 1.00/lb. However exporters are quietly confident that the US market really has bottomed this time. One positive factor has been a 40% drop in the fatty trimmings price from US feedlots. This once again makes it economic for grinders to mix them with imported lean cow and bull meat. Recovery may be slow though, because the US cow kill remains high, as does the cow and heifer kill in Australia, where many of the main livestock areas have not had follow up rains.

Lamb: Stability is the order of the day once again. The UK lamb season is now in full swing but UK domestic lamb production is still at historically low levels and it's price is 10% higher than a year ago, which means that there is still room for NZ lamb. NZ farmgate prices have been rising steadily. Although this seasons lamb kill is expected to be over 1 million higher than last season, that increase has already been processed and there are now probably fewer lambs left for the rest of the season than at this time last season insuring strong competition an firm prices in coming weeks.

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